Deobfuscate/Decode Files or Information
Adversaries may use Obfuscated Files or Information to hide artifacts of an intrusion from analysis. They may require separate mechanisms to decode or deobfuscate that information depending on how they intend to use it. Methods for doing that include built-in functionality of malware or by using utilities present on the system.
One such example is use of certutil to decode a remote access tool portable executable file that has been hidden inside a certificate file.  Another example is using the Windows
copy /b command to reassemble binary fragments into a malicious payload. 
Sometimes a user's action may be required to open it for deobfuscation or decryption as part of User Execution. The user may also be required to input a password to open a password protected compressed/encrypted file that was provided by the adversary. 
ComRAT has used unique per machine passwords to decrypt the orchestrator payload and a hardcoded XOR key to decrypt its communications module. ComRAT has also used a unique password to decrypt the file used for its hidden file system.
menuPass has used certutil in a macro to decode base64-encoded content contained in a dropper document attached to an email. The group has also used
Sandworm Team's VBS backdoor can decode Base64-encoded data and save it to the %TEMP% folder. The group also decrypted received information using the Triple DES algorithm and decompresses it using GZip.
One TYPEFRAME variant decrypts an archive using an RC4 key, then decompresses and installs the decrypted malicious DLL module. Another variant decodes the embedded file by XORing it with the value "0x35".
|Winnti for Linux|
This type of attack technique cannot be easily mitigated with preventive controls since it is based on the abuse of system features.
Detecting the action of deobfuscating or decoding files or information may be difficult depending on the implementation. If the functionality is contained within malware and uses the Windows API, then attempting to detect malicious behavior before or after the action may yield better results than attempting to perform analysis on loaded libraries or API calls. If scripts are used, then collecting the scripts for analysis may be necessary. Perform process and command-line monitoring to detect potentially malicious behavior related to scripts and system utilities such as certutil.
Monitor the execution file paths and command-line arguments for common archive file applications and extensions, such as those for Zip and RAR archive tools, and correlate with other suspicious behavior to reduce false positives from normal user and administrator behavior.
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